The Benefits of Mini Split Air Conditioning Systems
June 1, 2022
Summer in southeastern Pennsylvania is full of backyard BBQs, beautiful days outdoors, and bright sunny weather. It’s also hot and humid and staying cool in the heat of summer is important for both health and comfort.
You may think central air or window units are the only options to air condition your home and stay cool during the peak of the season. But a third option exists – the mini split. For old homes without cooling ducts or rooms that need a little extra cooling power, a mini split system might be the perfect solution. Reliance Heating and Air can install a mini split in your home – but what is a mini split exactly and why would you want one?
What is a Mini Split?
Mini splits pair an outdoor compressor with an indoor unit that dispenses cooled air. Air passes from the compressor to the indoor unit though narrow conduit piping which is typically hidden behind your walls. The best part – no ducts are required. These simple HVAC systems can be installed in homes that do not currently have air conditioning or used to supplement an existing system that does not cool all rooms adequately.
Benefits of Installing a Mini Split
Mini splits are versatile, efficient, and straightforward to install and maintain. If you need help cooling your home, consider these seven reasons to invest in a mini split.
Mini split systems are perfect for old homes that do not have the ductwork needed for central air. Instead of undertaking a major renovation to install those ducts, installing a mini split is as straightforward as drilling a three-inch hole through your external wall between the outdoor and indoor units so a conduit can be passed through. That conduit can be up to 50 feet long, allowing flexibility in the placement of your outdoor unit.
Mini splits are also great when you’ve added living space to your home. These spaces may not have ductwork installed. Even if they do, the added square footage may tax your current HVAC system. A small mini split may be perfect to cool a newly finished basement, sunroom, garage apartment, or home addition.
Mini split systems can come with up to four indoor units per compressor. Each indoor unit cools a single room—making it its own zone with its own thermostat. That means you can raise or lower temperatures in each room according to the occupant’s preference. No more need for one person to be freezing in the living room so someone else is comfortable in their bedroom upstairs. You can also easily turn the system off in unoccupied rooms and only cool them when needed. Mini splits provide flexible, conflict-free comfort.
Higher Efficiency and Lower Electric Bills
Because you don’t need to cool unused rooms or overcompensate for rising heat, mini split systems are more energy efficient, lowering your electric bills and your environmental impact. You get to experience the temperature you want at a lower cost!
Mini split systems are also more efficient by design. Leaky air ducts lose up to 30% of cooled air! This is not a common problem with the copper tubing used in mini split conduits.
The efficiency of cooling equipment is measured by its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) – the higher the better. A good central air system may achieve 18 SEER. Mini split systems can reach up to 30 SEER! This can represent hundreds of dollars of annual electric savings. This is a wonderful benefit, especially as energy prices climb.
Better Air Quality
Air ducts collect dirt and dust and are a perfect breeding ground for mold. Unless they’re cleaned every 2 to 3 years – something that many people do not do – all that nastiness can make its way back out into the air you breathe. With mini split systems outdoor air is immediately filtered before it goes through a copper tube and then into your room. There is no cross contamination from other areas of your house, and the copper does not promote mold growth. Your air will be cooler and cleaner!
Doubles as a Heater and a Dehumidifier
Most mini split units also have a heating mode, providing the same flexibility and efficiency in the winter as they do in the summer. This is particularly helpful in newly finished areas of your home that may not benefit from your primary heating system, or rooms you can never keep quite warm enough.
While in cooling mode, mini splits also remove humidity from the air. Some units have a dry mode especially for dehumidifying.
Window air conditioning units are infamous for being loud. Mini split systems are designed to be significantly quieter. Neither the indoor or outdoor units should disturb you or your neighbors. You’ll quickly learn to appreciate this serene innovation!
Diverse Design Options
While mini splits do require an indoor unit be placed in each room you want cooled, there are a wide range of models that can be mounted on your wall or ceiling. Some can even be hidden inside drop ceilings! This flexibility should allow you to find an option that matches the aesthetic of your home. Mini splits are not mounted in windows, so they won’t block your view or give thieves an access point into your house.